3 Courageous Steps to Reducing Your Negative Voice

I’ve been reminded in the last few weeks how much I really don’t know.  I’ve been reminded how important it is not to make assumptions or indeed let my ‘negative voice’ dictate my behaviour.  I truly do not know what someone is going to say or how they are going to react.  I mean it makes sense, how could I?  I who I am and they are who they are – I cannot read other’s minds.

I have had many conversations over the past 6-8 weeks about courses I’m teaching and about coaching.  Many conversations, not about what I’m offering per se but about individuals lives, roles and what they are wanting to change or develop in their leadership.  I’m grateful as I sit typing this that these are the conversations I get to have most of the time – transforming, empowering conversations that sometimes in themselves have many insights for me and others.

I realised after three conversations this week (where I was extremely doubtful of getting the outcome I wanted) how massively important it is not to listen to my ‘negative voice’.  I was fearful enough that I seriously considered not even asking the question that I really wanted to ask.  This was because of course my negative voice’s commentary had already started:  ‘They won’t be interested’, ‘They will say no or not now, ‘They will say I can’t afford it or I can’t do the dates’…and I will be left disappointed, de-motivated and resigned to the fact I have to do more to engage more people.

Well what I actually did was I decided that I can connect, listen, ask the questions I want to ask and see what happens.  And then my friends I was shocked!  All 3 people just said yes!  And now I am thrilled – for them, for me and for the difference this will make to leadership in the world.

So my question to you is…where do you hold back, avoid asking the question you really want to ask?

Have a go at these 3 Courageous Steps:

  • Listen In – to your negative voice…what assumptions are you making about what may or may not happen? About how someone may respond?
  • Check-In – with those assumptions…how do you really know what that person will say or what the future holds? When in the past has someone said something you didn’t expect?
  • Be Curious – and courageous, take a deep breath and ask that question! You never know…none of us do…trust, be open…see what happens.  And if you get a response you don’t want… is it likely you will handle it?

Learn how to increase your willingness to be courageous, get past your ‘negative voice’ and put yourself forward.  Step In, Step Up in your Leadership.  And learn the tools to keep this going for yourself, for the rest of your life.

Come and join me in a warm and empowering environment, in my online taster session for The Power of Self Esteem course.

Taster sessions are on Wednesday’s 28th September or 5th or 12th October 6-7:30pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Self Esteem

Nicci Statham is an executive coach who specialises in changing behaviour, she is passionate about empowering clients to transform their results through changing their attitude and behaviour.  Follow her on Twitter @awareleadership.

 

3 Ways to Expand Your Limits

expand your limit1

I had a physiotherapy appointment last week to review my progress and something very unexpected happened!  An epiphany!!

My physiotherapist and I were chatting about the level of pain I was having and how this was better or worse since I’d been doing my physio exercises.  I was explaining that I’d been doing yoga the night before and I’d started to get uncomfortable pain so I’d pulled back and hadn’t completed some of the yoga activities.  My physiotherapist said, ‘so you stop when you get pain?’ and we carried discussing how I normally handle that.

Then my physiotherapist started to explain that some pain was good, and that I woundn’t damage my body by having some pain.  He also explained that going slightly beyond pain that each time would enable my current physical limit to be expanded.

Well…a light bulb went off in my head!!  I thought YES I am limiting myself because when I feel discomfort/pain or what I judge as ‘too much’, I become fearful I will damage my body – so I stop.  Then I pondered a very important question…where else do I do this in my life?  Where else, when I reach my ‘comfortable’ level of discomfort, do I pull back?

This was an extremely exciting observation for me and since then I’ve been intrigued.  As I result I have been actively practising being with my ‘discomfort’.  How often in our work and personal lives do we pull back, disconnect or avoid if we are out of our comfort zone?  Will this ultimately limit personal and leadership development?

In the case of my physio, this is actually really important because to reach improved resilience and strength my body needs to go beyond its current limits.

So consider these 3 things to question and expand your limits:

  • Discomfort – what makes you uncomfortable and what would it take to move beyond this discomfort?
  • Truth – what are you fearful will happen if you move beyond your current comfort level, what’s worse case scenario?  Is this true, really?
  • Next Step – What is 1 thing you could do to practise stepping beyond your current limit?

Come and explore how to get beyond your current limits in a FREE online preview for The Power of Purpose course with me on Wednesday 27th April 6:30-8pm.  You will be encouraged to explore where your current limits are and how this is affecting your results.

Change your behaviour, change your results…Go on, take a risk!

FREE Online Preview…book here: Book FREE Power of Purpose Preview

What’s Your Persona?

all the world is a stage

I was reminded this week in various client sessions how easy it is to get into acting with a ‘persona’ – in or out of the workplace.  There it is…our trusty blanket comes out when there is uncertainty in some shape or form.  Some of mine used to be ‘I’ve got it all sorted’ or ‘look confident’ or ‘be smart’.    One of my biggest was being nice, pleasing and accommodating.  Now I do very much want to accommodate if I can, however something used to get lost in my ‘nice, pleasing and accommodating’ and that was ME.

There are of course many different personas, some may be placating or ‘nice’…others may be more aggressive and out there so to speak.  Be strong, confident, be loud, be first, sound like I know what I’m talking about, be tough, be in control, be nice, make them laugh, be the hero…the list is endless.

Thing is, the persona is essentially faking it – presenting a person that looks like you, sounds like you but is not actually the real you.   What’s going to happen if you are the real you?  What would the consequence be?

As Marianne Williamson said, ‘our fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us’

The persona and maintenance of it can lead to the constant picking holes in ourselves and living a fearful existence.  Sometimes even paranoia, the slightest comment from someone sends us into a spiral of self-doubt and fear about what others think of us.

Trouble is, all this ‘persona’ or fakeness usually entails a severe lack of openness and honesty – and this my friends does really not bode well at all if we want to create and maintain connecting and sustainable relationships.  And the persona will certainly not be a sustainable foundation if you are looking to become a high performing leader or organisation.

It sure can be tough, going into work day after day and ‘performing’.  What about all those other people who seemed to have it licked?  They look so at ease!

I have many clients that have said, ‘if I show any weakness everyone will think I’m not good enough at my job. I have to be strong for my staff’.  Well that’s very admirable to care deeply about one’s staff and the effect on the bigger picture, however when we present a persona we encourage others to do the same.   This, I suggest, in the long run does not support you, the organisation or your staff.   More often than not our personas are based on a range of assumptions that may or may not be true.  When we hide our humanity, we hide reality.

I challenge you to stop and consider the following about your persona(s):

  • What persona am I presenting? – most of us know when we are not being real at any given moment
  • What would happen if you are the real you? – there will likely be a list of consequences that your mind has ready for you
  • Is your list of consequences true? – really? How do you know the future?
  • What payoff are you getting from keeping your persona? – are you hiding out from stepping up or sticking your head above the parapet?

Go on, have a go at being real – at least once a day.  See what happens.

Come and explore how to identify and be the REAL you, more of the time in a FREE 1:1 45 minute coaching discovery session with me.

I can’t wait to hear from you…

FREE 1:1 coaching discovery session…book here: Book FREE 1:1 Coaching Discovery Session

FOMO – Have to or Want to?

wayne dyer...you choose limits

Ding!  An email pops into your inbox – a request, an enquiry – it might be from your colleague, the boss or a potential customer.  Its 6:30pm, you’re just about to have dinner together with your loved ones.  Do you open that email?  Of course you do!  You can’t resist!

Then, dinner is ready so off you go downstairs.  What’s happened though?  Suddenly you’re feeling a little uptight, agitated even and your mind is racing.  The email?!  You’re thinking ‘I have to answer it quickly’, ‘I have to respond’, ‘I have to get this info to them’, ‘I have to…   And then you’re eating you dinner but you’re not really there.  Your loved ones are speaking to you, you can hear yourself making the appropriate noises but you’re not really listening – really you want to get back to respond to that email.  So there you are missing the precious moments of your life with your loved ones because of FOMO – and this happens frequently doesn’t it?

Fear of Missing Out – a very common phenomenon.  Thing is, this is it folks.  That time with your loved ones, you don’t get that back.

A few years ago, I used to almost panic when an email or request arrived in my inbox.  Straight away I’d be thinking…I have to answer it now, I have to give them the right answer or else… I’ll look incompetent, I won’t get the assignment, my boss will think I’m lazy, I won’t be working hard enough, fast enough, I’ll lose my job….the list goes on.

After I took The Power of Purpose in 2010, I realised that actually I don’t have to do anything!!!  I might want to, this however is not the same thing.  This is a very subtle but important difference.  One is a choice, the other is a demand.  The other thing I noticed was that it was me adding on the ‘now’ deadline, not the person who’d sent the email.  AND I could ask for a deadline or indeed offer one.

Oh my gosh I felt SO free!  The awareness I learnt quite frankly freed me from the tyranny and grip that my mind had on me.  It’s not that I don’t still react but now I am more aware of what’s happening and this enables me to make more conscious choices, more of the time – rather than be driven by my unconscious mental demands.  Those demands usually end up with me flitting between tasks and reducing my productivity completely.  Sure, I could miss out on something but what’s the worst that could happen?  Once I think about worst case scenario, the truth is I don’t actually know that this is what will happen anyway.  Likely?  I suspect not.

So when that email pops in, consider:

  1. Who put the deadline on you or them?
  2. What’s the worst case scenario if you don’t respond immediately (or indeed until X?)
  3. What’s the truth – do you HAVE to or do you WANT to?

Come and explore how to release the demands you have on yourself, in a warm and welcoming environment, in my FREE online taster session for The Power of Purpose course.

Join me for an FREE online taster session on Wednesday 3rd or 10th February 2016 6-8pm.

I’d love to see you there…

FREE tickets here: Book FREE Online Taster for Power of Purpose

The Power of Style Awareness

mastering yourself

About a year ago I was working and interacting fairly frequently with a lady who coordinated a project I was working on (let’s call her Cheryl).  It was a really important project, not just because it was something I was delivering but also because it was a topic I was really passionate about and therefore cared about.

I found Cheryl to be rude, abrupt and inconsiderate.  She’d send me one word replies to emails, never say please or thank you – and worst of all have little compassion or empathy to my challenges.  And Cheryl would have virtually no response to any kindness or even worse my humour!  I found interacting with Cheryl, particularly speaking with her an arduous task and I’d avoid doing so – this had a big impact on the development of my project.  This affected the project results and the quality of my experience during the process.

This went on with Cheryl until I was aware of how different people’s styles manifest and how hugely this affected communication, leadership and most importantly results.  Prior to this I’d taken Cheryl responses personally, I’d assumed she was behaving and communicating in this way either to irritate me or just because she was rude and inconsiderate.

You see Cheryl had a very direct style, nothing to do with me – this was her way of communicating, leading and responding.  Once I realised this, and that my style is less direct and more considerate, I understood that the way we communicate is very different.  I love a please, thank you, people making time to say hello etc…this wasn’t Cheryl’s thing at all.  It made total sense!  In some ways we were at opposite ends of the spectrum in this regard.  I then allowed myself to let go of the expectation that she ought to be any different.  This transformed my interaction with Cheryl, not that I still didn’t find her abrupt, but I knew it wasn’t about me and this allowed me to make the best of our interactions.  In a way I  felt relieved because I could dispense with some niceties with her and that was very refreshing!

It’s interesting isn’t it how something so simple can make such a huge difference?!  I see this challenge regularly with clients.  One person is in uproar about how the other is responding or not responding and this leads to conflicts, communication breakdowns and disconnection with teams.

Are you making assumptions about someone you are clashing with?   Is your enthusiasm and energy not being encouraged?  Is your need for detail not being met?  Are others being extremely rude?  Do you wish everyone else would just hurry up and get on with it?

Come and find out how to be aware about your style and others.  Find out about your style’s leadership and communication needs and how you can use this information to maximise team working.  Revolutionise your communication and leadership results!

What’s My Leadership Style?  This fun and interactive session is running in Hertfordshire on Wednesday 10th February 9:30am-1pm (includes a style profile assessment).

Tickets here: Book Here: What’s My Leadership Style?

The Power of My Purpose

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I started writing this post thinking I should write something interesting, eye-catching – compelling even.  Instead I am choosing to share with you the truth, what teaching The Power of Purpose really means to me and what I think is possible from my own experience.

I took The Power of Purpose myself in early 2011 and I went in thinking YES!  this is the course for me.  I am going to have this one licked.  I am really goal orientated, I am determined and I’m achieving – what can this course possibly offer me that I don’t know already?  I went in believing I knew how to be purposeful and I’d just have a few extra tools to use to my advantage.

What I learned is that being mindful about purpose isn’t about ticking a list (I do like a ‘to do’ list) or how much I’m getting through in a day.  Being on Purpose is about being clear about what I REALLY want, my heartfelt purpose for wanting it and what that really means to me.  This empowers me to make discerning choices to stay on track.  Even if that’s challenging or doesn’t look like I thought it would.  I can always course correct.

My purposes now are mindful, deeper, grounded and held by a strong vision of what difference I want to make in the world – and to myself.

When life throws those (sometimes massive) curve balls, I now have the tools to get off the hamster wheel, stop beating myself up and get back on track.  It’s an ongoing daily purpose in itself to be conscious of my purpose and not get distracted by a number of other things that I could be doing instead or things that come my way (ooh look a shiny object!).

You see I grew up believing there was a certain way to be and a particular path to follow to be successful, and I believed I had to survive by playing along.  Get a good stable job, get good grades, get a pension – be setup for life etc.  The truth is I never wanted that.  I wanted more.  What I wanted was to have the freedom to find my own path, to put my energy into work that I cared deeply about and that for me would make the difference.    And I wanted to empower others to do the same.

So here it is…teaching this course for me is about freedom, reminding myself and teaching others to use the tools that will liberate them from a life of demands.  This is the difference I am committed to making in the world.  I want more people to know that they can motivate themselves by consciously choosing rather than driving themselves through fear of what they will be or look like if they fail.  I want more people to live and go for the life that they are truly capable of and not be limited by their beliefs about themselves, others or life.  I want people to know they always, always have a choice.

For me this powerful course is about mindfully raising awareness of what gets in the way of my deepest purposes so I can consciously choose what to do with this information – rather than getting carried along.  When I am on purpose in this way I am ‘at cause’ rather than ‘effect’ of what comes my way.  I see different possibilities, I get much more creative AND discerning.  And very importantly I get to be mindful, improve the quality of my experiences and I’m much more present to enjoy the journey!!!  This is such a different perspective to what can happen when I end up ‘just trying to get through’ or driving myself to do more and more, quicker and quicker.  When I am in that frame of mind whatever I do isn’t enough.

We all have our own story and the truly amazing things is our story can be a powerful basis for our life purpose.  This is what I am learning now.  I am looking forward to hearing some of the stories, wants, challenges and visions for those who will be on the journey with me in the next Power of Purpose course.

Come along to a taster event running in Hertfordshire on Tuesday 10th November 4:30-6:30pm

FREE tickets here: FREE Power of Purpose taster – book!

The Energy of Possibility

Reflection of leadership

I had a client this week that came in frazzled and exasperated because another one of her staff had resigned.

Totally understandable, her continuing challenges are time and getting to a place where the workload eases up. She sees her main issue in this as not having enough time. We all have the same amount of time though, right?

What I noticed more than anything was the utter resignation she was in about finding a new member of staff – and one that will fit perfectly.

What energy does this create, being in a frame of mind that no matter what we do, we are not going to get what we want in the timeframe we want.  Sure, there’s a logistical reality – Christmas is nearly here and people may be on holiday etc.

However, I wondered whether in this mindset we can ever create what we are so desperately seeking?  Being resigned, defeated and assuming we will fail, doesn’t this create a certain energy?

Even if we have doubts, when we get to the point where we have possibilities in front of us – are they likely to say YES to such a resigned or fear driven nature?

If you believe the theories about the law of attraction, we draw to ourselves the same energy we put out.

If nothing else, we could definitely have a good hard look at the truth of our assumptions…

Leadership and the purpose of possibility

Dream BIG

I’ve had lots of conversations this week with clients about shifting perspective so they can think about what they REALLY want.

How often do we tap into our sense of wonder and possibility? There can be a tendency to go straight to impossibility…Oh that will never happen, that won’t work because…. or so-and-so is never going to agree to that.

If we want in this state of impossibility, can we ever truly know what we want?

What if we just allowed ourselves to WANT? A no holds barred, free thinking journey to let ourselves connect to our highest vision and our deepest values. That childlike sense of wonder and just wanting – with no demands or consequences attached.

We can allow ourselves that can’t we – even if it never happens?

See, I think there’s something about allowing ourselves to BE in this space and go for what we really want in our imagination – maybe there we will see infinite possibilities we never have seen otherwise.

Because really, how do you now it’ll never happen anyway?

Leadership – this is it, what are you waiting for?

What Are You Waiting For

The theme of this week has been around the ‘epitome’ of success again – more so this week about how we can get so attached to our result.  So much so that we may hold back in the now, waiting to see if it looks like we are going to hit our target.

I’ve had many conversations about frustration with progress and sense of waiting around for that big win, the golden nugget that moves us further towards the belief that we are getting somewhere.

Will that ever happen? I wondered if this waiting to see ‘enough’ in the future has us holding back in the present.

This is it.  You may never know.  Put yourself forward now, go for it now, be the leader you are and want to be now.

What are you waiting for?